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February 03, 2022
There are perhaps only a few of us who will admit to writing a love letter. Some written in love, some written and unrequited, others full of desire. And not forgetting those that will never be sent. Follow in the footsteps of Shakespeare, Ronald Reagan, and Frida Kahlo by expressing your love and appreciation for someone this Valentine's Day.
Gone are the days of a languishing wait for post, the thrill of an unknown note, a token of admiration from an unexpected place. In a world of instant communication, what better way to truly personalise your gift than by handwriting a declaration of love?
Shakespeare’s sonnets are arguably the most famous expressions of love and desire in history and for good reason: who doesn’t want to be compared to a summer’s day? But far from being the first to entice a lover using beautiful penmanship; love letters can be traced over 5000 years ago to Indian Mythology.
"I have fixed my shameless mind upon You."
Rukmani wrote a letter of devotion to Krishna to express her wish to marry him, against her brother's wishes. She writes of her plan to be 'kidnapped' by the man she loves, a surprising and courageous feat for a Princess, and it works - she is carried into the sunset on a chariot!
The first documented love letter in English is said to have been written in 1477 by a woman named Margaret to her fiancé John regarding their upcoming wedding. Her Old English somewhat hard to decipher; she describes her intense romantic feelings and refers to him as her Valentine.
“Ryght reuerent and wurschypfull and my ryght welebeloued Voluntyne"
[Right reverent and worshipful, and my right well-beloved Valentine]
The traditional embellishment of the love letter did not escape Ronald Reagan as he wrote often to his wife Nancy; love, anguish, and at times apologies, even 20 years into their marriage. In 1981, their first Christmas in the White House, the President wrote to his First Lady expressing his appreciation for all the different women she could be.
“Fortunately, all these women in my life are you – for there could be no life for me without you”
Frida Kahlo’s love notes to Diego Rivera, her great love, expressing her admiration spilled onto pages of hyperbolic script. Her words are vivid and poetic, even in the English translations, using graceful description in her endeavours to lure him.
“To feel myself trapped, with no fear of blood, outside time and magic, within your own fear, and your great anguish, and within the very beating of your heart.”
Add a vintage flourish to your Valentine’s Day by penning a love letter using our beautiful selection of paper, stylish fountain pens, stunning inks and lock away your heart’s secrets under a beautiful wax seal.
Some of the greatest love letters in the world were emails…
said no one.
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